Written by Julie Silva Friday, 11 July 2014 08:44
Bishop Mark Seitz, of El Paso, emphasized the violence unaccompanied minors flooding the Rio Grande Valley are trying to escape in their home countries in written testimony to the Homeland Security Committee.
“With the increasing numbers of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, we must understand who these children are, what is propelling them to travel alone on an increasingly dangerous journey, and what can be done to best address their welfare,” Seitz said at the hearing last week.
Seitz spoke of a 16-year-old girl from El Salvador who said she lived happily with her family until the day she saw a classmate shot by gang members on his way home from school. That’s when members of the gang began threatening her, Seitz said, adding the gang also tried to recruit her. She was beaten and threatened with a machete.